Return of the DNF

Second race of the Beyond MTB Spring Crits, second DNF of the year. I was planning on getting out of the habit this season after a relatively successful start to the year and managing to get round in cyclocross races.

Then again it was a 2/3/4 race and I did fail to concentrate hard enough on my positioning in the bunch. Again I let myself get worked towards the back of the bunch far too easily so that when the attacks started I was having to work too much to keep out of the wind and stay in.

Then again the wind was fierce. Apparently some of the kids got blown clean off their bikes earlier in the day and with it gusting across the track at the top end and straight down the finish straight it was a real struggle at times to keep the bike going forward and upright. You could feel the nervousness in the bunch throughout and only the really strong riders were able to show in conditions where the field was slowly shredded by the wind.

Having been shelled out the back after about 8 laps I sat up and contemplated trying to get back on and stay in. What I hadn’t banked on was the speed differential caused by the wind. It made it almost impossible to get back on as by the time I had got up to the bunch speed and managed to drop back in I was near my limit from being in the wind. That meant I wasn’t able to hold the wheel and get back in with enough to recover and stay in.

Actually my big worry is that I seem to be getting dropped at the same point in the race and hitting my limit very suddenly. It’s been about 7 laps in (about 10-15 minutes) the last couple of weeks that everything seems to go tight and no matter how hard I dig I haven’t got anything left to stay in the race. Is that just me hitting my current threshold of fitness/power or am I just going to have to admit that I’m never going to have more powere than that to play with?

If anyone has any thoughts, I really could do with something to lift me from the despairing thought that I really might be nothing more than rubbish on a bike.

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